Welcome to the discussion forum of Ða Engliscan Gesiðas for all matters relating to the history, language and culture of Anglo-Saxon England. I hope it will provide a useful source of information, stimulate research, and be of real help. Ða Engliscan Gesiðas (The English Companions) maintains a strictly neutral line on all modern and current political and religious matters and it does not follow any particular interpretation of history. Transgression of this Rule will not be tolerated. Any posts which are perceived as breaking this Rule will be deleted with immediate effect without explanation.

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General Discussion / Who would you choose?
« Last post by Eanflaed on Today at 12:41:33 AM »
If you could swap places with your favourite Anglo-Saxon character, who would you choose?

I'd be Eanflaed of Northumbria - no surprise to anyone there! - as I'd be related to Kings Edwin (father), Oswald  (cousin), Oswiu (husband) and Ecgfrith (son). I'd get to live in the Frankish and Kentish courts as well as the Northumbrian.  I'd witness the Synod of Whitby first hand and meet Hilda  (cousin), Wilfrid and St Cuthbert. I'd certainly have an eventful life, being the first person to be baptised in the North, an exile, a queen and an abbess!
Old English Language / Re: Computer terms in Old English
« Last post by David on April 30, 2017, 01:00:59 PM »
There was a short thread on this started in April 2012 in General Discussion.

However it is nice to see it again.

Old English Language / Computer terms in Old English
« Last post by Phyllis on April 30, 2017, 11:30:41 AM »
I was just noodling about on the Interwebs when I stumbled over this word list for Old English computer vocabulary. It gave me a chuckle, anyway :)

Old English Language / Re: Riddles in the Dark Ages
« Last post by David on April 30, 2017, 09:03:34 AM »
Languages need to change but I find "dynamic" as bad as fossilized". It is reckoned that a lifetime of a language is about 8 or 9 hundred years. After that it has changed so much that it is considered a new language. Icelandic is conservative, so it is 10 or 11 hundred years, whereas English is dynamic, being about 6 or 7 hundred years. This is not natural. Now, and at several times in the past, we have had people deliberately trying to replace words, pronunciations or meanings. Some people have been in open competition over this. Sometimes both words have been accepted but given different nuances which you could say enriches the language.

I am more embarrassed to say that I knew that strife = wife than I do not know what monkey hangers are. Dialect is perfectly acceptable. However I understand slang as being a code deliberately used so that outsiders do not understand. In cockney slang you get single layers of coding as in "strife" and "yob" but it can go to a second layer as in "butchers". If you consider slang as a kenning then my opinion of kennings has dropped even lower.

News & Events / Eoforwic: Anglian-era York at York Festival of Ideas
« Last post by Phyllis on April 30, 2017, 08:50:22 AM »
York Festival of Ideas Website

One of the key themes at York Festival of Ideas this year is Anglian York
There are lots of events (I posted one earlier before I realised there was a whole programme!)

Check the website for details! Booking opens 2nd May for ticketed events.
News & Events / Anglo-Saxon Crafts
« Last post by Phyllis on April 30, 2017, 08:40:56 AM »
Anglo-Saxon Crafts at the York Festival of Ideas
Saturday 17 June 2017, 12.30pm to 5pm
Free admission
No booking required
Courtyard, King's Manor, Exhibition Square (map)
Wheelchair accessible

Event details
Step back in time and find out about Anglo-Saxon life through its crafts. Watch a demonstration of tablet weaving using naturally dyed yarns, learn about hand-building pottery techniques and handle replica pottery. Find out about the work of the goldsmith through the tools, techniques and materials of the early Medieval period, and discover how Anglo-Saxon beads were made and their significance.

About the demonstrators
Catherine Stallybrass of Curious Works will be producing braids on a small loom using naturally dyed yarns and patterns found in the archaeological record.

Lee Steele will discuss Anglo-Saxon pottery construction and firing techniques. Watch hand-building pottery techniques and handle replica pottery.

Jamie Hall of Primitive Method willdemonstrate the work of the goldsmith seen through the perspective of the tools, techniques and materials of the early Medieval period.

Artisan historic beadmaker Mike Poole will present a display of handmade reproduction Anglo-Saxon beads and demonstrate how they are made, as well as explaining their significance.
Scir News/Information / Re: Dalby Forest - 9 July
« Last post by Phyllis on April 30, 2017, 08:37:11 AM »
get a third and you could say we have a movement. Where's Alice? (this is showing my age!)
Old English Language / Re: Riddles in the Dark Ages
« Last post by Eanflaed on April 29, 2017, 11:20:52 PM »
I score 10 (I bet not many people south if the Humber will get monkey hangers!). But some cockney rhyming slang might inadvertently qualify as a kenning eg trouble and strife = wife.

But, David, language must be dynamic or it fossilises. Like it or not, it has to change to suit its users. I have read that English has been such a successful language globally because it absorbs lots of foreign words but retains its identity. I'm very proud that it is my native tongue.
Old English Language / Re: Riddles in the Dark Ages
« Last post by David on April 29, 2017, 08:46:10 PM »
My scores are that I know what 8 of them mean.

I could not work out any of them, not even those whose answer I know.

I am sure that I have used 3 of them and possibly 3 more. However my uses have been rare and only among people who would understand what I am saying. I am very conservative and against people trying to change the language. Unfortunately I am in a minority so Shakespeare sounds strange and confusing, Chaucer sounds foreign and Beowulf completely incomprehensible. It is not so extreme elsewhere,
Old English Language / Re: Riddles in the Dark Ages
« Last post by Linden on April 29, 2017, 07:10:38 PM »
................... It would be interesting to have a page of kennings and see what people thought they meant. Just like the riddles in the Exeter Book I think that a lot of people would be left scratching their heads when told the “correct” answers.

So here is a short list of what might be termed 'kennings' in Modern English.  How many do people know and how many do you have to look up?  The point is that us modern English folk still do it.  If they appeared in our literature which was then studied a millennium into the future, what would those folk make of them? I'd bet that they would find some of them as head-scratchingly difficult as we find the Anglo-Saxon offerings.

Donkey wallopers
Her indoors
Monkey hangers
The little corporal
Auld Reekie
The iron lady
The Pond
The bee's knees
A dog's breakfast
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